8th Annual Bridge Builder Awards

May 14, 2009

2009 Bridge Honorees

Leona Barr-Davenport is President & CEO of the Atlanta Business League (ABL), Atlanta’s oldest minority business development and advocacy organization. As President, she works with the board of directors to provide increased access to business opportunities for minorities with specific emphasis on the development of businesses owned or operated by African-Americans. Her background combines more than twenty-five (25) years experience in the areas of customer service, program development, organizational management & fundraising for associations and youth oriented programs. Barr-Davenport serves on the Advisory Boards and committees for BusinessNOW of Goodwill Industries of Atlanta, Inc.; the Atlanta Coalition of 100 Black Women of Atlanta; the Community Foundation and United Way of Metro Atlanta. Her current board affiliations include Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, Better Business Bureau, Crossroads Community Ministries, Economic Development Corporation of Fulton County, Minority Entrepreneurship Education, Inc. (Secretary) and the National Business League. She is a 1999 Leadership Georgia graduate, 2002 Leadership Atlanta graduate and recent graduate of the Diversity Leadership Academy.

Curley Dossman joined Georgia-Pacific in 1994 the Senior Director of the Community Programs Department. Currently as President of the Georgia-Pacific Foundation and Vice President of Community Affairs, he is responsible for Community Relations Program development for headquarters and local plant communities nationwide and administration of the Georgia-Pacific Foundation and Community Affairs Department. Curley works closely with the Chief Executive Officer, company executives, and key Atlanta leadership regarding programs and initiatives important to Georgia-Pacific. Curley is an elected member of the National Board of Directors and Executive Committee of 100 Black Men of America, Inc. He is also Vice-Chair of Operations, 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc., an organization committed to mentoring and paying the college tuition for inner city students. Curley is an active member of Morehouse College Alumni Association and former co-chair of the National Alumni portion of the school’s $105M campaign for a New Century.

In 2001, Shirley Franklin was elected the 58th Mayor of the City of Atlanta as well as the first female mayor of the city and the first African American woman to serve as mayor of a major southern city. Since her inauguration in 2002, Mayor Franklin has worked to build a “Best in Class” managed city by strengthening existing frameworks, implementing progressive changes and making the tough decisions necessary to improve Atlanta. Mayor Franklin currently serves as a member of the Democratic National Committee and Treasurer of the Democratic Party of Georgia. She is the Georgia Municipal Association’s 2nd Vice President, Chair of the Travel and Tourism Taskforce and the Chair of the US Conference of Mayor’s Women’s Caucus. She serves as the chair of Atlanta Development Authority, the Chair of the Brand Atlanta Campaign, the Chair of the Board of Trustees of CIFAL-Atlanta and a member of the National Conference of Black Mayor’s Business Council. Mayor Franklin also serves as the secretary of the Board of the Atlanta Regional Commission and the Chair of its Ethics Committee as well as Secretary of the Executive Committee. She has truly returned accountability to city government and improved the quality of life for all Atlantans.